Here's another book I really wanted to love (since Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite books ever), but for some reason, I just... didn't.
"To Conquer Mr Darcy" is an alternate re-telling of Darcy's and Elizabeth's story. In this book, instead of strategically retreating after Elizabeth refuses him at Hunsford, Mr Darcy returns to Netherfield to try again to woo Miss Bennet. He does it by seducing her, basically (well, they also get to talk a lot, but seducing is a big part of it).
Strangely enough it wasn't that part I had problems with. I enjoyed the first few chapters, with Darcy wooing Lizzie, showing her he was different from what she thought. And showing her, through kisses that he loved her. I also liked Elizabeth's doubts and confusion at first... but then it sort of became monotonous, as if I was reading the same scene over and over again... they met, they kissed, she was astonished at how that made her feel and had doubts. This went on and on for too many pages. From almost the very beginning, we see Elizabeth's feelings change, but this doesn't mean (in the book) that the situation is resolved quickly. No, the author fills pages and pages of these encounters to the point where the reader (in this case, me) says "just get married already and stop meeting in forests and random walks and carriage rides!"
Then, after they admit their mutual feelings (and get engaged, then married), I must confess I felt a little spooked at the intensity of their "love". It was portrayed a bit more like an unhealthy obsession than love. And yes, I know this is common fare in historical romances of the bodice-ripper type (and it's what this is, believe me); the protagonists must be madly in love. But I don't think the author pulled it of, because... well, it didn't sound romantic and healthy it just seemed disturbing.
Another thing I had problems with was the writing style. The author did try to give it a "period feel", but again, she didn't pull it of. It didn't 'sound' like Austen at all, it just 'sounded' like a poor imitation. It made the book all the more boring, since I don't think Ms Reynolds was able to combine 19th century writing techniques and (supposedly) hot intimate scenes successfully.
I struggled to finish this. Five days for a 400-page mass market paperback is a lot of time for me. I just felt like the author dragged everything a little too much and the writing style didn't help.
Still, I have to give Ms Reynolds points for her creative concept.